Friday, January 6, 2017

The power of pacing to live well with chronic illness

Throughout the years of illness, I have become a great believer in the power of pacing. 
Learning where my limits are and setting goals accordingly. 

Vidyamala Burch explains the art of pacing brilliantly in her book Living well with Pain & Illness. A true gem of a book. A no-nonsense book. Vidyamala tells it as it is. She herself is dealing with chronic back pain, and had to learn the hard way how to cope. The wisdom she learned is now shared with many others. 

The accompanying booklet The Art of Mindfulness: Mindfulness in Daily Life, is a very useful guide to record how you spend your day, what makes you tired, or increases pain. It is a kind of detective game to record every thing you do in a given day.

At the end of the two weeks, there is a guide on how to interpret these hard facts and see where your baseline is. For example, for me twenty minutes of weaving or working on the computer is my limit before pain and tiredness gets worse. I set my alarm at 18 minute, so I know I have to stop soon.
And yes, at times I DO want to throw the alarm clock at the wall as I am not ready to stop. But I also know that if I do listen to this wisdom, I actually get more work done in the end of the day.

I do get to complete projects. Just twenty minutes at the time.
But that is better than crashing for days or weeks, and having nothing to be proud of at the end of a day, week, month or year... 

(Of course there are times when the reality of a day can not be put into these twenty minute segments. Those days there will be pay-back but at least I can plan for that...)

The wise words of Lao Tzu: "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

page from Into the Light  by Corina Duyn with image of butterfly and quote: Nature does not hurry but everthing is accomplished- by Lao Tzy
page from Into the Light  by Corina Duyn

Living with an illness that robs us of energy

it is difficult not to get disheartened
by the fact that much of what
we would like to do
remains undone

We can’t 
h u r r y

doing too much
 makes us more ill

If we trust
that all happens in its own good time 

we are granted peace
and time

The complete
opposite of what we expect

By p a c i n g

our activities
we can accomplish our dreams 

one minute
one breath
at a time 

from Into the Light © Corina Duyn


Unknown said...

A good reminder to pace mindfully. Thanks Corina x

Corina Duyn said...

You are very welcome Diane.
I am grateful to be able to share my thoughts and enable others in their journey through illness.

Best wishes